by Steven Ertelt
August 5, 2005
Albany, NY (LifeNews.com) — As promised, New York Gov. George Pataki vetoed legislation that would have made the state the next to allow over the counter sales of the morning after pill, which can sometimes cause an abortion. Pataki said he opposed the measure because it would have done away with the requirement to see a physician before getting the drugs.
"We can do better [than this bill]," Pataki said. He pledged to work with the sponsors of the measure to craft another measure he would sign.
Pataki wants a bill that provides age restrictions on young teens purchasing the morning after pill, marketed as Plan B.
"I happen to think that it is simply wrong that a 12 or 13-year-old girl would have access to prescription medication with no medical supervision at all, which would be the case under this bill," Pataki said. "If those flaws can be corrected, and I don’t see why they can’t, then I would sign the bill."
Assemblywoman RoAnn Destito, a Democrat, said she would work to override the governor’s expected veto. However, pro-life advocates hope that doesn’t happen.
"Powerful medication without a prescription is just bad policy generally, but on a further level it would be the taking of a life," Hamilton College associate history Professor Douglas Ambrose said. "That’s an act that we should not be promoting and should not be making available with or without a doctor’s prescription."
The Plan B drugs can also be provided to a patient by a nurse or midwife. They can obtain blank prescription pads from doctors to complete on their own for the drugs.
The veto came just hours after more than 100 pro-abortion demonstrators appeared outside the state capitol rallying in favor of the legislation.
Kelli Conlin, executive director of the New York chapter of Kelli Conlin, executive director of the New York chapter of NARAL told Newsday that Pataki’s decision to veto the bill had less to do with its merits than with Pataki’s presidential ambitions. He is considering running for the 2008 Republican nomination for president.
"This was driven by politics" she said.
On Monday, NARAL launched a television ad criticizing Pataki and saying the governor has flop-flopped on the issue On Monday, NARAL launched a television ad criticizing Pataki and saying the governor has flop-flopped on the issue.
Conlin says the group’s attack ads will air in New York, New Hampshire and Iowa. The organization had previously scheduled a flight of ads celebrating the retiring governor’s pro-abortion views.
Throughout his tenure as governor, Pataki has been a supporter of abortion, though he is seen as trying to tone down his views in an attempt to appeal to conservative Republicans he would need to capture the party’s nod.
Seven other states have approved sales of the morning after pill over the counter. Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Washington allow the morning after pill to be purchased without a prescription.
Canada has also made the sometimes abortion drug Plan B available over the counter without a prescription and Vermont and Oregon are considering similar proposals.